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Bill Schreder - Limb Casts - Rare and Beautiful (Video)
Limb Casts are formed in the hollow areas left by wood that was deposited into volcanic ash, covered and then burned - leaving a void in the shape of a tree limb. The void is then filled by Agate or other crystals, often in the actual shape of the original tree limb that burned up in the process. Some Limb Casts are hollow while others are pretty solid, and it is not uncommon for the outside of the Limb Cast to have the shape and appearance of the original bark of the tree limb. Limb Casts are fairly rare and very tough to identify in the wild. Most of the Limb Casts we show and discuss here are Montana Agate often with crystalline centers.
We interviewed Bill Schreder of Central Montana Lapidary, also a local Rockhound, for additional information and photos of his extensive Limb Cast Collection. Bill was happy to share his knowledge and some extraordinary examples of Limb Casts with us. He also demonstrated his techniques for cutting and polishing Limb Casts. Bill has an extensive collection of Limb Casts as well as some other beautiful rock specimens he has collected. (See a brief scene with Bill)
We took photos of a few of Bill's specimens and included them below. Although Bill Schreder deals in Lapidary Equipment, his Limb Casts are mostly just for fun. He has been collecting samples for years and has some of the "largest" Limb Casts you will find anywhere.
Rising Sun Wholesale has used a few of our own Limb Casts for Carvings, Panels and Lamps. The carving and cutting processes of these Limb Casts was a very tricky undertaking because of the nature of this type of semi-precious gemstone. The centers of Limb Casts are sometimes hollow or full of fractures that need to be utilized into the design of whatever you are making. Although, when it turns out right, the results are fantastic as you can see from a few of our photos. We are looking forward to seeing more of Bill's Limb Casts in the future.